Columbus, OHIO

Green Minds Project: Gayla Trail

I will be traveling to Columbus, Ohio next week to be on a panel at the Ohio Floraculture Association’s “Short Course” conference. As a result I have set some time aside to see the city and take in gardening in that area. I am told there is an active community of urban gardeners in Columbus.

I know it is very last minute to ask but I am hoping to find some gardeners who would allow me to come into their space and take some pictures of them for my Green Minds photo project. If you would be willing or know someone who is please go to the site and fill out the form. I’m trying to find a diverse range of people so no gardener is too beginner.

And since I have never been to Ohio I would deeply appreciate any suggestions of things to see and do in Columbus, gardening-related or otherwise. And just in case I don’t bring enough film: Does anyone know of a store in the city that still sells medium format film? I am also looking for a health food store and a cafe that serves good espresso-based coffee beverages.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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26 thoughts on “Columbus, OHIO

  1. I’m still up for the Green Minds photo shoot…

    Gayla, you’ll give me a week to de-junk-ify my place, yes?
    I’ve only just finished delivering free of carloads of flats of veggies to many community gardens around Toronto over the past two weeks, so my garden is a bit behind. Also, I’ll be digging up a carload my perennials for a Parkdale Butterfly Garden in two weeks or so… so it would be best to do a photoshoot before then.

    I’m east of Royal York road, north of The Queensway. Early morning weekends are best for me. Sunrise even.


  2. Hi Gayla! I’m a Columbus native. (Woo! Go Columbus!) Though I’m not super active in the local gardening scene… I can point you towards the North Market (a farmers garden on Saturdays) in the heart of downtown. There are also several health food stores all over the city that shouldn’t be too hard to find. I would also recommend seeing the Columbus Zoo, it’s one of the best in the country! Please feel free to email me if you think I might be of assistance ^_^

  3. Gayla – my cousin is an Ohio State grad and now lives and works in Columbus. I’ve got an email out to her with your questions. Stay tuned …

  4. Cord Camera is a great Ohio-based camera store – there is one in Grandview, which is also a great spot to grab some grub or a cup of coffee.

    There are some beautiful urban gardens in the German village area, as well as the Short North (location of the North Market, mentioned above…)

    I’m a Columbus native, so let me know if you have any other questions!

  5. Phew. Thanks for your suggestions. Do keep them coming! I will email some of you personally.

    Jen: Had no idea Cleveland is near Ohio which says a lot about my grasp of American geography.

  6. I filled out the form for Green Minds. An opportunity to show you my garden would be great. I am 25 living in an older downtown Hamilton apartment with a coutrtyard garden patio area.
    I am available anytime, because this is when I should be taking some vacation time!
    Look forward to hearing from you.

  7. Katie Lane and myself have started our first ambitious vegetable gardening project. It’s about 40 x 60 feet and out behind an old factory building my husband and I purchased last fall that we’re converting to a flea market and artist residency. We are just 1 hour north of Columbus in Mount Vernon. Love to have you come up if you have time!!

    Katie also owns/runs an art gallery (Root Art Center). And I know we both love your site!! and subscribe to your RSS. Love to meet you in person.

    Enjoy Ohio!

  8. Gayla,

    I live in Columbus and have my entire life. I don’t know much about specific urban garden locations, but I know there are many around town, particulary in Grandview, the Short North, Victorian Village, Clintonville, and near The Ohio State University campus. My husband and I are “learning” gardeners – we just overhauled our entire backyard and finished building the patio at our first home in Clintonville. Some suggestions for your stay:

    Cord Camera, throughout town
    Midwest Photo Exchange on High St., Clintonville

    Natural Foods Store:
    Clintonville Community Market, Clintonville
    The North Market, Short North

    Farmers Markets:
    Short North at North Market

    Local/Organic Restaurants:
    Northstar Cafe, Short North & Clintonville
    Dragonfly, Victorian Village (vegetarian)
    and too many good ones to even begin to list here!

    Cup O Joe, Clintonville & Short North
    Stauf’s, Grandview
    Crimson Cup, Clintonville

    The things to do in Columbus are endless! I love to brag about our city, so please feel free to drop me a line with more questions!

  9. i live in mount vernon, ohio, which is an hour northeast of columbus. i’ve just recently been to the north market and am excited to go back. we have a bunch of friends in columbus, but i don’t know how many of them garden. if you would have time for a detour, we’d love to have you out to our garden! i figure you won’t, but thought i’d offer it up. there are a lot of farms, gardens, and great people up here.

    anyway, have fun in columbus!

  10. Gayla,

    I live in Clintonville, right in the heart of Columbus and you are MORE than welcome to come visit my garden. It’s literally exploding with vegetables (so much that it had to be expanded into more space to accommodate) and just loves to be photographed – I can’t stop taking pictures of it myself. It would be a pleasure to meet you and I would, of course, take it upon myself to treat you to a little local hospitality. :) (The local co-op market is about 8 houses down from mine and has an excellent selection of yummy goods.) You’ve been a huge guiding force to my green thumb and your book has literally saved my garden in so many ways.


  11. Just stumbled on your website today (after seeing it mentioned in the most recent The Nest magazine), and we happen to be Columbus readers!

    You absolutely must visit the Franklin Park Conservatory while here. Current exhibit on “blooms and butterflies,” and a great place to snap pictures.

    Would refer you to some local gardeners for your photo project, but all are traveling for the holiday!

  12. Hi, I live in Columbus. While here you should definately check out the franklin park conservatory and the park of roses.

  13. You must go to the Book Loft in the Old German Village. Absolutely wonderful set-up. I’ve not been there in a few years as I live about two hours away.

  14. Hi Gayla,
    A couple days ago I tried to send some Columbus information here, but it did not go through to the comments section so I sent it in a message to your *Contact* message box. Hope you saw it. If not, I’ll try again to post here.

  15. I’ll be at the show helping set up a couple of booths. I went last year to the show and found Columbus to be a very cool little city. There is a place called “The Surly Girl”, the looks totally cool (but since I was working I didn’t get to go).

    What days are you going to be there?

  16. as an owner of the surly girl mentioned above, i’m honored that we somehow made it onto you grow girl! and i’d be happy to treat you to lunch or dinner there while you’re here…2 columbus gardens you should check out: the weinland park community garden and tip top’s (our sister bar/restaurant downtown) rooftop garden. you can email me for contact info for both.

  17. Carmen, I had no idea that Tip Top had a rooftop garden. Me and my fiance are both fans of Surly Girl. Any chance we can come by to admire it?

    I work in Cleveland, where I have a container garden and travel to Columbus every weekend to be with my fiance. We maintain a small vegetable garden in her patio. The lovely photos and stories you post have been a great inspiration. I I would suggest Jenny’s ice-cream at the North Market.

  18. gayla, i manage an urban garden center in the heart of columbus! i work at the straders garden center on king avenue , near the osu campus, upper arlington and grandview!its a little shop with lots of character and its been here for over 50 years . we would love to have a visit from you while your in town.

    have a great day! andrea

  19. I was able to hear you at the Consumer Buzz Live at OFA. I was really happy to see that they invited someone like you to the session. Your viewpoint was really fresh and definitely different from most of the other panel members (although you and Scott Meyer of ‘Organic Gardening’ seemed to share a lot of ideas).

    I noticed that there was certainly a lack of young people and also women at the conference and in the industry. As a horticulture graduate student, I’m always glad to see other down-to-earth yet professional female role models in the field.

  20. Dae: Thanks! I was surprised to be invited. Yes, the floriculturist industry is certainly seen as a “man’s business.”

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